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Fung Capital Buys Sonia Rykiel Brand

Deal will see Fung Brands acquire 80 percent of the fashion business and push international development.

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PARIS — French fashion brand Sonia Rykiel and Fung Brands Ltd. said Monday they have finalized a deal that will see Fung Brands acquire 80 percent of the Rykiel business, leaving the Rykiel family with a 20 percent stake. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nathalie Rykiel, Sonia’s daughter and the current president of the brand, has been named vice chairman of the board. This completes the operation initially revealed by the two brands on Jan. 26.

“This partnership joins the forces of Sonia Rykiel and its exceptional bonds to clients with Fung Brands’ know-how, its knowledge of the sector and access to international markets,” the companies stated. “Benefiting from the strong and distinctive identity of the brands, the partners wish to develop the company internationally as a true global brand of international luxury.”

Fung Brands Ltd. is a subsidiary of Fung Capital Ltd., the investment arm of the families of Hong Kong-based Victor Fung and William Fung, who separately control the Li & Fung Group. It is headed by Jean-Marc Loubier, formerly of Celine and Escada.

Since it was founded last year, Fung Brands has acquired majority stakes in French shoe brand Robert Clergerie and Belgian leather goods concern Delvaux. Sonia Rykiel had mandated Edmond de Rothschild Corporate Finance last summer to study the possibility of selling a minority stake in the family-owned house in order to speed its expansion.

Sonia Rykiel posted sales of 89.6 million euros, or $118.9 million in 2010, roughly flat versus the previous year, the brand said last year.

In September, the Paris-based label named April Crichton creative director of its main fashion line.

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